You should plan to spend a full day (approximately from 9AM to 3PM) at the cochlear implant clinic. We encourage you to bring a family member or friend for support.
Please remember to bring your hearing aids to your assessment as they are required to complete the cochlear implant candidacy assessment. Be sure that they are working and have been set appropriately for your hearing loss.
Your audiologist will begin by asking you questions to better understand your medical and hearing loss history. We usually review the completed Cochlear Implant Questionnaire to be sure we understand your history, concerns and expectations.
There are several sections to the cochlear implant candidacy assessment. Not all testing is required for every patient. Your audiologist will let you know which areas they will be investigating.
- A complete hearing test determines the type (conductive, sensorineural, or mixed) and degree (mild to profound) of hearing loss you have.
- Pure tone air and bone conduction threshold testing: tests the type and severity of hearing loss.
- Tympanometry: tests the mobility of the eardrum and middle ear bones.
- Acoustic reflex testing: tests the function of the middle ear.
- Otoacoustic emissions: tests the function of the sensory hair cells in the inner ear.
Speech testing is done to see how well you are able to understand speech. You will be asked to listen and repeat back a series of words and sentences with and without your hearing aids.
Real ear measurements will check that your hearing aids are set properly.
Auditory brainstem response testing: tests the function of the hearing nerve.
Vestibular testing: tests the function of the vestibular end organs in your inner ears.
- The social worker will talk with you about your hearing loss and how it affects you and those around you. In addition, the social worker will be able to provide you with information about resources that may be helpful to you and your family.
Testing is thorough and can take several hours. You will be provided with breaks for lunch and throughout the day as needed.
After testing has been completed.
Your audiologist will spend time with you reviewing your test results. Usually we are able to tell you at the end of your assessment if you are an audiological candidate for the cochlear implant. Occasionally, usually due to problems with poorly fit hearing aids or if we are not able to complete all the testing required, you may be asked to come back for further testing.
You will still need to be assessed by one of the surgeons to complete the medical/surgical candidacy assessment. If your initial referral to the cochlear implant clinic was from an audiologist or hearing instrument provider, you will be required to have your family doctor send a referral for you to the surgeons.
- If you ARE NOT yet an audiological candidate for the cochlear implant, your audiologist will offer a number of recommendations that will help address some of the difficulties you have with your hearing.
- If you ARE an audiological and medical candidate for the cochlear implant your name will be placed on the cochlear implant surgical waitlist.
We expect that you and your family will have many questions. Your audiologist will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.